In a wildlife reserve in southern South Africa, two highly unusual elephant twins were born.
The nameless offspring were discovered this week in the Pongola Game Reserve in North Kwa-Zulu Natal, where their mother and the rest of the herd were caring for them.
Only around 1% of elephants give birth to twins, and the last known pair was born in Kruger National Park in 2006 with a cow.
Curve, a 31-year-old cow, gave birth to the twins, and the father is thought to be Ingani, a 44-year-old male elephant who died little over a year ago.
Curve still gets a lot of support from the rest of the herd in caring for her young, even if the twins’ father is no longer visible.
The sex of the twins has yet to be determined by Pongola Game Reserve management, who are allowing Curve room to care for and nurse her offspring so they can get off to the best start possible.
‘Mortality of one of the twins generally happens when the mother cannot meet the increased demand for milk by two calves, and the less dominant of the two calves cannot acquire access to its portion, therefore this is the ideal place to start,’ says the author. Elephant expert Dr. Ian Whyte, formerly of the Kruger National Park’s National Parks Board, remarked.